Monday, August 21, 2017

Census 1937 district data

The 1937 census reports include the male and female population numbers for each district (Amphoe), a table covering 30 pages in the publication. I have now completed to convert these numbers into a spreadsheet, as well as my XML format, of all the 408 districts covered by the report. While I have no idea how much these numbers differed from the real numbers back then due to shortcomings in the way the census was conducted, but the numbers in the report all sum up perfectly except two or three obvious number errors - e.g. for Lang Suan the female population was given as 21893 instead of 12893.

As this table includes a column with the ratio between male and female population, there are some interesting strange cases. While for most district the ratio is between 87% and  130%, there are a few district where the male population is very dominant. Bannang Sata in Yala has more than the double number of men than women (4994 vs. 2427), also Samphanthawong in Bangkok (then Phra Nakhon province) has 42200 men compared to 27760 women. The later case is easy to explain - this district covers Chinatown, which at that time had many unmarried male Chinese workers. This can also be seen in the percentage of Thai vs. non-Thai citizen - Phra Nakhon had 29.7% of non-Thai citizen, Yala 13.4%, also Phuket and Ranong had more than 10%. These two provinces also had quite some Chinese workers, at that time the tin mining was still a big part of the local economy.

Though this table only included the full district and counted the minor districts (King Amphoe) together with the district which supervised it, it also made a good cross-check of whether my district data is complete. From all the districts which exist today, and where I had the dates of when they became full districts, only the district Thung Yai in Nakhon Si Thammarat - then named Tha Yang (กิ่งอำเภอท่ายาง) - was missing, because its upgrade to a full district sometime between 1941 and 1948 apparently wasn't published in the Royal Gazette. The only other special cases are three districts in Bangkok which were abolished later - Bang Sue, Bang Phlat, Bukkhalo and Nang Loeng were abolished in 1938, the first two were created again in 1989. While these districts are included in the data, interestingly the districts already uses the names changed in 1938, which among other changes gave the capital districts the Amphoe Mueang names.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tambon of Krabi in 1940

The Local Directory of 1940 (ทำเนียบท้องที่ พุทธศักราช 2483) - one of the books I was able to scan from the Pridi Library - gives the number of administrative villages for every subdistrict, thus it gives me a complete list of all the Tambon in that year. As I suspect that not all the Tambon creations and dissolvements have been recording in the Royal Gazette, and the creation of more than 1000 Tambon in one year always has been very suspicious, this list should be great to consolidate my Tambon data.

Working through all 300 pages will take me several months,  yet as a proof of concept I have processed the Tambon list of Krabi, simply as that province is listed first as being the first in Thai alphabet. And with 534 Tambon today its a relatively small province.

In 1940, Krabi had 39 Tambon and 283 Muban in four districts, compared with 8 district, 53 Tambon and 389 Muban today. All of the Tambon listed in 1940 could be directly matched to a present-day one with the same name, so none was dissolved in the meantime. Only Na Nuea (ตำบลนาเหนือ) in Ao Luek isn't found directly, as it is listed as Pak Lao (ตำบลปากลาว) in the book - but corrected as Na Nuea in the appendix. Actually, the Tambon was renamed in 1940 while the book was compiled [Gazette].

Checking the other way round, there is only one Tambon not present in the 1940 list which has no Royal Gazette announcement on it being created - Sai Thai (ตำบลไสไทย) in Mueang district. It was mentioned in a Gazette announcement in 1952, so it was apparently created sometime in the 1940s. And since the 1937 census included a book with the population for each Tambon (more on that later), there is one more Tambon which changed in these years - Khao Din was renamed from Yan Sao, while it was reassigned from Surat Thani in 1937 it is already included in Krabi.

Krabi was an easy pick as a first step to work through that list, the XML with the data will slowly grow later. Sadly, there were none of the 1000 Tambon in this province, so it doesn't answer yet what was that announcement all about. Also, there were no difficulties like dissolved or renamed Tambon without any official records I could find so far. When I am running into such problems I'll certainly write about them


Monday, August 7, 2017

Census 1929

The 1937 census report was published in five parts, which I was able to look into at the Pridi library last month. I scanned a lot of pages of those books, though only a small subset of the whole books - all those will keep me occupied for quite some time to work through and type into Excel sheets and my XML files. But one first part I could finish already last weekend. One of the parts lists the population development from the previous census in 1929. The 1952 yearbook I found earlier also included that data, but strangely there the numbers did not add up, only the numbers for the south matched.

Now the new scans allowed me to get all the population numbers for each province, with the exception that the provinces abolished in 1932 are not listed separately but are included with those provinces into which they were merged then - for example Lang Suan province (จังหวัดหลังสวน) which was added to Chumphon in 1932. Thus now my data sheet contains all the censuses since 1929, as well as the corresponding XML file. As far as I know no other online resource has this data so far, even the great statoids start at 1947, and has wrong numbers for the early census. It turned out that some more provinces had valid numbers in the 1952 yearbook, but its of course strange how the sometimes quite different values could come up. What is also strange in the tables from the census - the numbers for 1937 are not those in the other parts of the report, e.g. the male/female numbers for each province. It looks as if this part of the report was prepared on preliminary numbers before the final numbers had been compiled. I hope the other parts won't show any other inconsistencies.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Two Muban renamed

Two administrative villages were renamed yesterday by publishing the announcements in the Royal Gazette.
  • Ban Thung Phatthana (บ้านทุ่งพัฒนา), Mae Yen subdistrict, Phan district, Chiang Rai, renamed to Ban Mae Yen Klang (บ้านแม่เย็นกลาง) [Gazette]
  • Ban Nong Masang (บ้านหนองมะสัง), Suk Ruethai subdistrict, Huai Khot district, Uthai Thani, renamed to Ban Thung Sali (บ้านทุ่งสาลี) [Gazette]
Both name changes were approved in this years first meeting of the board to consider name changes on April 28 - sadly the agenda or transcript of this meeting isn't available online.

As the announcement were signed by the province governors, the second announcement made me notice that the governor of Uthai Thani had changed recently. On March 4, the governors of Uthai Thani and Samut Sakhon were exchanged with each other [Gazette] outside the normal annual reshuffle usually done in October. But since I didn't notice that exchange till now, my XML were still showing the old assignments.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Library requests

In preparation for my forthcoming annual visit to Thailand, I have checked with some of the online library catalogues whether there are any of the reference works I could use available in one of the libraries I could easily reach while I am in Bangkok. The Pridi Banomyong library of Thammasat University, located right next to Wat Phra Kaeo, has the full reports of the census 1947 and 1937, as well as a few issues of the Local Directory (ทำเนียบท้องที่ พุทธศักราช), most interestingly the 1940 issue. However all these are in the rare book section, so hope I can get access to them.

A bit less interesting are the older issues of the Statistical Yearbook, which are more wide common in university libraries in Thailand. Though not the complete series, the Mahidol Central Library in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, has several of the older issues, so I hopefully can further complete the data series with the number of subdivisions.

But even if I can get access to all the works I looked up, and have enough time to scan all the relevant pages to process when back home, there are still more issues of the yearbook or the even older census reports which would be great to have - and there are also some books or thesis which are impossible to get when having access to the academic sources. Thus I have compiled a list of the library requests and made it a static page, so hopefully someone who has the chance to provide me scan of any of these I would be very grateful. I will update that page whenever I stumble onto something new which I could need, or of course once I can get one of the requested data.

Friday, June 30, 2017

@Amphoe 3/2060 available

The 3rd issue of the @Amphoe magazine was just published online earlier today, right on time that I will be able to pick the paper version this one together with the other issues from the past 12 months when I will be traveling to Thailand next month.

The English language content features an interview with Boonlue Thamtaranurak (บุญลือ ธรรมรานุรักษ์), the chief district office of Galyani Vadhana district in Chiang Mai. Another part is on a new division within the Department of Provincial Administration responsible for the Hajj Affairs of the Thai Muslims, following the 3rd amendment of the Hajj Affairs Advancement Act (พระราชบัญญัติส่งเสริมกิจการฮัจย์ (ฉบับที่ ๓) พ.ศ. ๒๕๕๙) which took effect December last year.

Also, as in every issue, one province with its touristic highlights is features, this time Chanthaburi in the east of Thailand - hence the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on the title page of the magazine - one of the few beautiful Roman Catholic churches in Thailand.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Number of Tambon in 1947

Table A15 - Population for Urban
and rural size group, 1947
Another interesting table found in the 1952 Statistical Yearbook are A15 and A16, which list the number of Tambon for each province, including a grouping by the population number. According to that table, in 1947 there were 3650 subdistricts, split into several categories according to the population number.

ClassNumberPopulationPercent
All365017442689100.00
Urban26951584512590.85
>20,000298387264.81
10,000-19,999250312537817.92
5,000-9,999960658232037.74
2,500-4,9991456529870130.38
Rural95515975649.15
1,000-2,49981815079348.64
<1,00013789,6300.51
Table A16 then gives the number of Tambon for each province, split into the urban and rural Tambon. While these numbers arer interesting by themselves - though would be even better if have numbers to compare from other censuses - for me the most important one is the absolute number, as I intend to have a complete overview when which subdistrict was created. Calculating back from the current number of subdistrict and all the subdistrict creations published in the Royal Gazette, I get to a number of 4581 in 1950 - or maybe a few more as my algorithm doesn't handle the abolished entities correctly yet. This leaves about 1000 Tambon missing - though there is the strange 1947 Royal Gazette announcement on the creation of 674 Tambon.

I have two other very old Tambon numbers, the 1964 Statistical Yearbook lists 4893 for the reference date February 17 (my algorithm says 4889 for January 1st), and more interesting the 1917 Yearbook gives a number of 5052. Thus it seems it were not just the Monthon and some provinces which were abolished in the 1930s, but also many subdistricts, and these unlike the higher administrative units were never announced in the Royal Gazette.

It seems the only way to find more information to resolve these number issues will be old issues of the Loyal Directory book (ทำเนียบท้องที่), something which can only be done in a few libraries in Thailand. The Pridi Banomyong Library at the Thammasat University has the 1940 (2483) issue - I hope I will find chance to visit there during my forthcoming vacation in Thailand, and hope I will be allowed to photograph all the relevant pages to compile a digital list later. The book is in the rare book collection, and given its age probably must be handled with lot of care. It would be just great if this whole book series would get scanned and made publicly available - even Google Books hasn't scanned any of them yet, though even there it would probably be inaccessible.